Our brands are committed to pay fair wages to their employees. ENZI Footwear for example pays double and adds a portion of the profit, Kabana currently pays even 4 times of the national average salary.
This has a big social impact, because the majority of the staff uses the money to support their families. Therefore, we currently have a direct impact on more than 600 people and additionally, through the supply chain, we even have a positive impact on more than 4.000 people.
Our aim is to multiply the number of affected people as high as possible during the project.
Through several training programs we want to provide our employees with skills and knowledge.
This contains training in soft skills, such as confidence, attainment of goals, leadership and hard skills, like weaving, spinning, sewing and cutting.
Firew Konjo from Shimena, for example, is training the local community youth to earn income by spinning cotton and weaving on handloom. Jawad Braye from ENZI, who studied footwear design and production at the renowned London College of Fashion spent hundreds of hours to show his staff his professional knowledge.
Kabana offers mental training, especially for single mothers, who often are victims of domestic abuse, to reintegrate them in the society with dignity and supports employees who wish to start their own business by giving them start-up capital loans.
These actions already inspired former employees to start their own business and to generate more jobs.
Empowerment of Women
Gender equality and fair treatment is a big matter to the Ethiopian fashion community. All of our brands take different actions to encourage and empower women at their workplaces and in their social life.
Enzi Footwear for example provides a shoe bag from a local organization, working to empower women living with HIV and Shimena supports women entrepreneurship through training programs.
Especially Kabana embodies this aspect. 80% of their employees are young, migrant women from emergency shelters. Kabana educates them and gives them self-determination through wages much higher than the national average. Their female leader Semhal Guesh is engaged in several women-rights organizations and programs and says:
“The fight against misogynistic traditions starts by hearing about other women's success”.
In addition to these aspects our brands contribute to the health of their social environment with special aid efforts.
ENZI donates 10% of its overall profit to indigenous outreach programs in Ethiopia and during COVID-19 crisis, Semhal Guesh, from Kabana, led a consortium of 12 enterprises to repurpose factories and manufacture PPE materials. This initiative contributed to the fight against the virus while securing over 1,060 jobs.
The fabric for ENZIs shoe bag is sourced from a local aid organization and Kabanas Shopping bags are sourced from a social enterprise owned and run by a deaf community called Teki Paper Bags, which is a social and environmental enterprise developed for and by the deaf community.
Kabana, Shimena and ENZI follow fair recruitment processes and hire people in difficult circumstances too.
Shimena, for example, employs former prisoners and older people who are still motivated and inquisitive and Kabana offers employment opportunities for disabled women among. Currently, some are working in the cutting department.
With our strategy to reduce the carbon footprint, our companies receive more than 80% of their materials within a distance of less than 100 km.
Shimena receives their cotton from fields not further away than 30 km and their silk production is located in the backyard of their workshop.
ENZI and Kabana strive to get their main material from the best tanneries in Ethiopia. They make sure that their suppliers have a water treatment plant, plant-based and chrome-free leather production and all accessories are made with skin-friendly nickel-free materials.
All shoes and bags are very durable and last a lifetime.
In terms of reducing waste, our companies constantly work on new ways to recycle and upcycle remainders.
Kabana, for example, uses the remaining leather to produce smaller wallets, sandals or keyholders.
Shimena uses sand and stones to filter the water after dyeing and water their own garden with.
In addition to these actions, Kabana takes part in the Greening-Ethiopia-Project by Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed and plants trees in several areas of Ethiopia.
Shimena takes a stand against deforestation and ENZI works with a local artisan to produce an eco-friendly shoe box that's made of the fibers of the local ensete plant and recycled paper.
All brands provide education in waste reduction and sustainable consumption to create awareness at work and at home.